View Full Version : To the German

03-30-2002, 10:53 AM
Currently at my company I am working on a project for a German company. It seems that in april the Germans have quite a lot 'Feiertage'. During these Feiertage they are not allowed to work, if they do, they will get problems with their 'Gewerkschafte'. In the Netherlands, the software engineers don't have such a 'Gewerkschafte', we can work whenever we want. Do you German experience it as a problem having so many Feiertage while your clients or subcontractors don't? And how flexible are the Gewerkschafte?

During the Christmas-holiday, the people at our German client were not allowed to work. Though a deadline was there and we really needed their help. Our client did want to help, but wasn't allowed to work. It took a hard job to get around with the Gewerkschafte, but finally they could work.

A different thing. A lot of technicians of our company go to a different country to work for a client for half a year or more and I'm thinking of working for some time for a client in Germany. I was wondering how working in Germany differs from the Netherlands.

03-30-2002, 01:35 PM
You are right. Some clarifications:

In April, including Easter Friday and Monday and another christian holiday ( Pfingsten in German ) there are quite a lot of free days ;)

>During these Feiertage they are not allowed to work, if they do, >they will get problems with their 'Gewerkschafte'.

Well, I wouldn't phrase it that way. 'Feiertag' means public holiday. No one works. No shops open. Like a sunday. It's a fully paid holiday.

No one can stop you from working if you like. However, the workers unions don't like that very much, and maybe it's even against the law. Shops may not open on sundays even if they like to. There is a law that keeps them shut on sundays and public holidays.

As far as I know there is no union ( Gewerkschaft ) for Programmers. We are part of a bigger one, which doesn't care for IT stuff at all. So I don't know many programmers that would care for a union.

I have worked through weekends and 'till the dawn of the next day if deadlines were approaching or server problems had to be solved. Programmers don't have problems with that I guess.

Across the street from our building is a disco. I have had fridays when I came out and see the last people leave. Rare, but it happens.

The Gewerkschaften are probably right about being extra careful with working on holidays, because there is always one deadline or problem that has to be solved. If they allow it this year, what happens the next ?

>I was wondering how working in Germany differs from the Netherlands.

Well... if you tell me what working in NL is like, I can tell you the difference :p

It's quite ok ;-)